Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Legendary lawman joins the Texas Rangers

April 21st, 1906

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On this day in 1906, Frank Hamer enlisted in the Texas Rangers. Hamer, born in Fairview in 1884, was recommended for a position with the Rangers after capturing a horse thief while working as a cowboy in 1905. In 1908 he resigned from the force to become marshal of Navasota and then a special officer in Harris County. He rejoined the Rangers in 1915 and patrolled the South Texas border from the Big Bend to Brownsville. He was criticized for his use of force, and legislator José T. Canales accused Hamer of threatening him in 1918. In 1934 Hamer became a special investigator for the Texas prison system and was assigned to track down outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. After a three-month search, he and his men shot and killed them near Gibsland, Louisiana. Congress awarded Hamer a special citation for stopping the pair. Hamer retired in 1949 and lived in Austin until his death in 1955.

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